Are you going to do your first long distance triathlon in 2017? How will you handle it?
There are a lot of ways to train for such an event. You can train with a club or have your own personal coach, but you can also do it by yourself. On the internet you can find many training plans. ‘The Triathlete’s Training Bible’ from Joe Friel is one of many books where you can find tips & tricks and everything about creating your own training plan. He also writes a blog on the internet: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/ were you can find lots of tips.
It is important to know that there is a periodization of workouts, not every training is hard and intensive. According to Friel, assuming you are at least reasonable fit, you must be able to finish a long distance triathlon with 23 weeks of training. You decide how many hours a week you want to train, but 10-12 hours can already be sufficient.
The 23 weeks of Friel contain the following blocks: 3×4 weeks BASE (you work on your basic fitness, there are many slow workouts). Next comes the 2×4 weeks BUILD (the workouts will be higher in intensity and more race like) then 2×1 week PEAK (reducing the volume of training while also doing mini-race simulations). Last but not least 1 week RACE (preparing for race-day).
In the following newsletters we will describe some basic guidelines.
The above program is an example of how you can build your own training plan. It is crucial to create a well thought-out plan that has enough variation and presents a good balance between hard workouts with easy training and recovery. By performing periodization of workouts throughout the year, you keep things interesting because of variation and you give your body new impulses and overall you will improve.
It is important to always listen to what your body tells you. Also actively plan in your recovery and refuel at the right times to restore your glycogen and nutrient levels.
As a rule of thumb you should use the first 30 minutes after a workout to restore part of your carbohydrates and proteins. This can be a shake or some fruit with yogurt. Two hours after your workout it’s good to supplement the rest of your depleted energy reserves with a full meal.
When you train a lot, it’s essential that you maintain your level of vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system working. In the winter time e.g. our bodies do not generate as much vitamin D (due to lack of sunlight) and it might be wise to supplement these.
With the current high-tech sport watches it has become fairly easy to track your own workouts. It is recommended to also include how you felt while performing the workout. Was it easy or taxing? How did you feel the days after? This data can give you information on your readiness level for that specific training and you can learn from that for the future.
Never forget: It is the recovery that makes you better. Recovery comes in many shapes and forms, but getting enough sleep is key. Athletes who structurally sleep less than 8 hours a night are at higher risk of overtraining. So turn in early!